We have been slow to update about the fire for no other reason than we have been flat out getting back up and running. As you can see from the pictures below, the fishery is a wooden clad building and even with the amount of water within, the fire did a huge amount of damage.
We lost our oyster room, which is where we cleaned, purified, graded, stored and packed all the oysters. The fire melted the oyster trays which were full of water that was above a large water reservoir. As the fire happened on a Saturday evening all the oyster systems were full in preparation for the week ahead. All 20,000 oysters were lost.
Above the oyster room was our Long Room which is where we hosted events, held meetings and was our look out over the entire river. Staff lunches were spent watching herons, oystercatchers, egrets and all the other wonderful wildlife that surrounds the Fishery. The long room was also where we took all our photographs as the light was incredible.
The top of the building was also damaged, this is the owners, Christopher and Cathy's office and housed all the history of the Fishery, which we were able to save thanks to the skill and bravery of the Fire Service, most of whom were retained staff from the local villages.
The fire swept through our water plant destroying the water filtration system for our indoor lobster and crab tanks too, leaving us with our large outdoor tank, which thankfully runs the length of the Fishery. Although, as it was an electrical fire our mains power supply was cut off which meant that we couldn't pump water and air into the outside tanks, so we lost all the lobster and crab stocks despite our best efforts to save them.
Writing this now is quite difficult as when you look at it as a whole, we lost a lot in the fire. We are very thankful that nobody was hurt and the Fire Service were able to save so much of the building.
The fire happened on the 29th of June and the cleanup operation has begun, the oyster tanks have been removed and the building that housed the water purification facility has been demolished. We are beginning to spec out the new oyster room and water plant so when we do rebuild, we will build a better Fishery.
Despite all of this we only missed a day trading, thank you to our fellow oyster farmers on Mersea who offered us depuration facilities and the speed that we were able to install temporary tanks, which we will show you next... it's all going on at the Fishery!